The holiday season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers for a number of reasons, including harsh winter weather and an increase in intoxicated drivers. But did you know that fatigued driving is also a serious problem around this time of the year? With so many people rushing around to buy gifts, plan and attend parties, run errands, and study for final exams, it is no wonder that sometimes people don’t get enough sleep. Coupled with plans to travel long distances to visit family and friends for the holidays, the result is a greatly increased risk of driving drowsy, which could have serious consequences.
An Australian study has revealed that drowsy driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving. In fact, staying awake for 18 hours is equivalent to a .05 percent BAC, while staying awake for 24 hours is equivalent to a .10 percent BAC – which exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent. The danger of fatigued driving is more than just the danger of falling asleep behind the wheel. Sleep deprivation can cause dangerous lapses of attention, impairment of judgment, and increases in reaction time, which means that a fatigued driver may not be able to react quickly enough to prevent an accident.
Here’s what you can do to avoid being a drowsy driver this holiday season:
- Driving a long distance? Get a full night’s sleep before you leave, and avoid driving more than eight to ten hours a day.
- Never drink alcohol before you leave on a long car trip. Not only is it illegal to drink and drive, but even a very small amount of alcohol can make you feel drowsy.
- If you take prescription medications that make you drowsy, you should not drive. Make arrangements for someone else to drive if you cannot postpone taking your medication.
- Take rest breaks every two hours during your trip. This will allow you a chance to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and eat a snack so that you can stay fresh and alert.
- If possible, split driving duty with one of your passengers so that one person doesn’t have to drive the entire way.
The holiday season can be a hectic time, which is why Pratt Clay, LLC wants to remind you that no matter how much you have going on, you should ALWAYS ensure that you get enough sleep. Not only will your body thank you for it, but you’ll be keeping others safe as well.
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An Atlanta car accident attorney at Pratt Clay, LLC is prepared to review your case free of charge. Call today to get started: 404-566-9460 .